Shelly cells help scientists gauge ocean acidification effects

Posted on EPOCA: 23 Jun 2011


Scientists have pinpointed they way the  cells of ubiquitous marine algae are affected by ocean acidification.

The discovery, published this week in the journal PLOS biology, represents a breakthrough in understanding in exactly how ocean acidification will impact marine organisms.

The team, led by marine biologist Alison Taylor from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, in the US, investigated the process that single-celled algae called coccolithophores use to generate their chalky scales.

Coccolithophores are a significant part of the phytoplankton that live near the marine surface, and play a role in absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. They create their chalky scales by making limestone utilising the calcium in the ocean.


Greg Dash, COSMOS, 22 June 2011. Full article.